5 Ways to Stay on Track toward Your Purpose, Vision and Goals

In order to live a truly fulfilling life, it’s important to know and fulfill your life purpose. If you are happy, you are likely are living your purpose, even if you’re not consciously aware of what it is.

If you’re feeling even a teensy bit thwarted, aimless or frustrated, either your vision and purpose aren’t leading you or you’ve encountered some temporary obstacle that’s blocking you.

Here are 5 practices that can help keep you on track

1. Start writing down your dreams and set an intention for them before you go to sleep each night.

For most of my life, I’ve been a vivid dream ‘rememberer’. Earlier this year, they started fading away too quickly for me to retain them.  A month or so ago, I started a dream journal.

Writing down even glimpses tells your conscious brain you want to recall your dreams. So it makes more of an effort to transfer the images, thoughts and feelings from your subconscious where the dreams reside, to your conscious, waking brain that thinks and ‘verbalizes’ your thoughts.

Now I’m more able to recall them more easily and tap into that subconscious part of me that knows and yearns for more.

2. Read books that inspire you and help you connect to your higher Self.

I’m currently reading The Four Spiritual Laws of Prosperity: A Simple Guide to Unlimited Abundance by Edwene Gaines.  I read a bit each day and share it with my husband. I’m also reaching the end of a year-long self-study program called, A Course in Miracles. I’ve gone through it several times since first discovering it in 1981 and my perspective always expands with each journey.

3. Start each morning out with some time for reflection.

Before starting work, I sit down with another journal inspired by Conversations with God. In it, I ask for guidance on both general and specific issues I’m facing.  I’ll even ask for direction on areas I should be thinking about but aren’t at the moment. I’m always amazed by the ideas that pop into my head and the words that flow out from my fingers as I write.

4. Review your life for your gifts, lessons and themes.

Many decades ago (am I really that old?!?!?), I was exposed to a program called “You Are What You Were When…”. It was based on the presumption that what was going on in the world when you became a teenager shaped your perspective and values.  It was the predecessor to the generations work that has being written about for the last several years.

One of the key ideas put forth is that from a very early age, each of us has been expressing our gifts and passions and that if we just look back at how we spent our time and energy, themes would arise that would clarify the path we’ve been on all the while.

5. Choose, commit and act

As you do the other four outlined here you bring ‘control’ into your life.  ‘Choose’ your focus even if one was handed to you from above.  Some people ignore those messages.  If you are to live a purposeful life, you must choose to do so.  Then take action – daily – consistent with your vision, purpose and personal gifts.

Keep in mind this quote from Wayne Dyer, “Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice.”

How to Attract Clients Who Will Pay You What You’re Worth

Many business owners scrape by serving clients who are struggling themselves.  In spite of the economy, there are many businesses and people who have been unaffected and are willing to pay for premium-level services and products.

When you’re trapped servicing the middle or low-price market (which, let’s face it) much of the country is these days, you encounter a ton of hairy-pulling, teeth-gnashing concerns like:

1.    People don’t buy from you because they can find what you offer at a lower price somewhere else
2.    People don’t buy at all because putting up with their problem is easier than forking over money to solve it
3.    Your bank account is scarily low leaving you worried, anxious and maybe even a tad desperate.

You get the picture.

So, well-heeled clients sound like the answer to your prayers, right?

The challenge to landing those clients however is  (at least) three-fold:

1.    You don’t know exactly who is looking for what you have to offer
2.    You don’t know how to find or attract them
3.    You don’t have anything to offer them that they’re truly interested in

So what’s a busy business owner to do?

There are several ways to overcome these problems.

In dire times businesses try to offer everything to everybody. That’s exactly the wrong strategy.  And here’s why.  When you market to everyone, your ‘target’ won’t feel special.  She won’t believe you have a solution that addresses her needs so she keeps looking until she finds it and it likely won’t be with you.

I recently went into a shoe repair shop (a dying breed, admittedly) but they were selling children’s toys and household tchotchkes that didn’t even look like they belonged in the shop.  Perhaps they were selling well, but frankly, I’d be surprised.

The solution is to focus on a small set of specific clients and do everything you can to understand them, their worries, pains, dreams, hopes and desires.

Once you know who they are, ask yourself, how are they spending their time? What do they read, listen to or go to?

Are they attending networking meetings? If so, which ones? Most networking events are populated with people hungry for business not necessarily looking to invest in solutions.

Think about it. When you need to buy something, do you go to an event to buy it? Probably not. You might go and ask people you trust for recommendations, but if you found exactly what you were looking for, I’ll bet you’d be a little bit surprised.

So you have to get visible where your market is looking. That could be online, on their smart phone, in industry-specific or niche publications (although that can be expensive).

If they’re suffering with a big problem, they may have complained to their friends and colleagues. So developing a referral strategy with the right people could be really productive.

Then, once you’ve found them (or they’ve found you), you must make sure your marketing message hits them directly between the eyes.  You have to be so clear about how what you’re offering is exactly what they need that they go “Duh! It would be a mistake NOT to invest in that.”

Again, this underscores the importance of knowing who really needs what you have so when they hear our message, they say “S/he’s talking to me!”

I remember participating in an event and one of the attendees remarked “I felt like the speaker was inside my head saying out loud what I had only thought in the privacy of my own brain!” That’s what you’re going for!

So, when you know who they are, what they’re gnashing their teeth over and have a solution aimed directly at pain (or dream) with a message that feels like it’s directly personally to them, the right people will refer you, find you and happily pay you for your expertise!

Why You Need Independence and Interdependence to Be a Highly Effective Leader

Today’s effective leader must demonstrate both a sense of independence from traditional thinking as well as an interdependence with her or his community in order to cause change.

We’re just celebrated Independence Day in the States. In addition to the picnics, barbeques and fireworks, it’s a holiday that honors our forefathers for breaking away from Great Britain.

Here are some critical reasons why as a leader, you need to exhibit independence AND interdependence.

The case for independence…

1. Leaders must be ahead of the pack in order to lead. This requires courage and the willingness to stand out.

2. Leaders aren’t content with the status quo. They must be willing to buck conventional wisdom and act with independence.

3. Leaders must make tough decisions. Sometimes their decisions will be unpopular, but if they are the right decisions, the leaders must stand by them.

4. Leaders set high standards. They don’t succumb to mediocrity nor people’s excuses for ‘why it can’t be done’. They raise the bar on performance levels for all around them including their own.

The case for interdependence
1. No leader, no matter how capable, can bring about their big vision all by themselves. They need the support and commitment of others to make their ‘dream’ come true.

2. Leaders instill loyalty by caring for other people and demonstrating concern for their welfare. As John Maxwell said, ‘People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care‘.

3. Leaders create community, bonding people together for a cause greater than their personal and individual wants and needs. In community, people can accomplish miracles that otherwise would not be possible.

4. By definition, leaders need other people. One can’t ‘lead’ if there is no one TO lead.

Therefore, leaders are dependent on the presence of others to make possible and real their leadership role. It’s not approval they’re seeking but without other beings, there is no possibility to express leadership. Therefore, they are dependent on others to experience their Self-as-Leader and Leader does not exist.

Leaders must be competent functioning in both domains, courageously independent bucking the trend while at the same time operating interdependently with others to make magic happen.